Arriving on Lesbos
Migrants arrive on a Turkish boat near the village of Skala, on the Greek island of Lesbos, Nov. 16, 2015. The Turkish boat owner delivered some 150 people to the Greek coast and tried to escape back to Turkey; he was arrested in Turkish waters. (Sergey Ponomarev for the New York Times)
On the 100th year of the Pulitizer Prize awards, announced April 18, 2016, the winners for photography tackled the plight of Middle Eastern refugees.
The New York Times and Reuters won for heart-wrenching photos of desperate refugees. The Reuters photo coverage of Middle Eastern migrants arriving in Europe was led from Greece by Yannis Behrakis, chief photographer for Greece and Cyprus and the Guardian newspaper’s 2015 Agency Photographer of the Year.
The team captured a series of images of migrants crowded on flimsy sea craft and their first moments upon reaching Europe. “We showed the world what was going on, and the world cared. It showed that humanity is still alive,” Behrakis said. “We made for these unfortunate people’s voice to be heard. Now with a Pulitzer, we feel that our work has been professionally recognized.”
Some images showed families rushing ashore, flailing away in the water, or collapsing on the beach. Others juxtaposed the rafters at sea with a cruise ship or a leaping dolphin or the setting sun.
The Reuters photo staff was named as co-winner for breaking news photography, along with Mauricio Lima, Sergey Ponomarev, Tyler Hicks and Daniel Etter of the New York Times, also for their images of the refugee crisis. (AP/Reuters)
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